28 November 2009

Azari & III

Not got a whole lot of info on these guys but I am very much into the three tracks I have heard - all on an early 90s Chicago House tip. Think Jamie Principle, Blake Baxter etc. Their new EP entitled Hungry For The Power is out on I'm A Cliche records (Cosmo Vitelli's label). The title track with its sexy/camp vocals instantly grabbed me. A classic 808 beat, big funky bassline and some great synth work. The video is full of sex and violence so watch at your own risk!

Azari & III - Hungry For The Power

On the flipside is She's An Illusion and it's a real monster of a track. Dark smoke-filled warehouse business with a relentless one-note bassline, all manner of robo-voices and mad computer noises layered over a fat house beat. Get it at 20JFG. Reckless (With Your Love) was their previous single for Permanent Vacation records. It took a few listens to grow on me but now I'm hooked - a great driving house groove that works both in both vocal and instrumental versions.

Azari & III - Reckless (With Your Love)

16 November 2009

YOU+ME=LOVE Compilation

I've uploaded a little mixtape I recently made for the special lady in my life. Songs about love and that, y'know? All the tracks have lyrics that make me think of her and/or us. She said it made her do a happy cry so it did the trick!


Lenny Williams - Choosin' You (edit)
Eastside Connection - You're So Right For Me (edit)
Darcus - It's Got To Be Love (edit)
India - To Be In Love (album version)
Lee Garrett - You're My Everything
Marvin Gaye - I Wanna Be Where You Are
Breakwater - The One In My Dreams
Syreeta - I Love Every Little About You
Marvin Gaye - Come Live With Me Angel
Michael Jackson - I Can't Help It

That last MJ track never ceases to amaze me - so perfect.

Download: YOU+ME=LOVE.rar

11 November 2009

Keenhouse - Civic Transit

I've been listening to Keenhouse's album Civic Transit quite a lot lately (thanks to my girlfriend for putting me on to it). It's a rather jolly affair of (mostly) vocal dance-pop with plenty of lovely synths. The tracks are quite varied in style but there seems to be a mixture of Synth-pop, French House and Electro-House influences, plus I reckon there's a bit of videogame music in there too. My favourite tracks are Starpower Outage, Revolution (which could be a Goldfrapp track) and The Rendezvous but I've not found myself skipping any of the others which is always a sign of a good album.

Fans of Valerie may recognise the album opener Deep In The Forest, which also kicked off the excellent Valerie & Friends compilation earlier this year. Keenhouse are also featured on another new compilation from Binary Records entitled LA Lights and their tracks are definitely the highlights of it. Non-album track Ari-es in particular has been one of my most listened to tracks recently.

Download Ari-es at Discodust
Civic Transit is £3.99 from Amazon
You can stream the album in full at last.fm

07 November 2009

Hudson Mohawke - Butter

Hudmo's debut LP Butter dropped last month on Warp Records and it's hot! Sounding like not much else that's around at the moment, it's a crazy mixture of Wonky beats, US Hip-Hop and R&B plus more traditional Warp-style electronic experimentation, all covered in lush layers of dazzling neon synthesizers. You can read a short interview with him here where he talks about the album, some of his influences and his deal with Warp.

This track is blowing my mind right now:

Hudson Mohawke - FUSE

It can all get a bit messy and disjointed at times, but with so many ideas being thrown into the pot, even the weaker ones come and go pretty quickly. FUSE and Rising 5 are the stand out tracks for me at the moment, although there are some other great little songs amongst the madness. At only 20 years old, I think this guy has a big future ahead of him. Love that cover artwork too! Check out these free downloads from warp.net:

Hudson Mohawke - Rising 5.mp3
Hudson Mohawke - Butter Snips.mp3 (album sampler)

14 October 2009

Floating Points - Vacuum EP

Some of the best House I've heard for a long time. Deep and warm, melodic and hypnotic.

Buy it at Boomkat.com

13 October 2009

Joy Orbison

If you've not heard anything about Joy Orbison's Hyph Mngo already this year you must be living under a rock. A massive genre defying tune, now finally available digitally on Hotflush Records. The b-side Wet Look is also a stormer.

Joy Orbison - Hyph Mngo

Joy Orbison - Wet Look

Buy them at Boomkat.com

07 October 2009

Mayer Hawthorne

His "A Strange Arrangement" album recently came out on Stones Throw Records. It's a throw back to all things old and soulful. It's pretty good, going on the few listens I've had so far. The opening accapella of "Prelude" into the title track is beautifully smooth. The more upbeat tracks like "Your Easy Lovin'..." or "One Track Mind" I could live without to be honest. But what's really been doing it for me recently are the two free remixes available for download from stonesthrow.com.

Astronote's remix of "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out" keeps the retro soul vibe of the original but ups the bass considerably and transforms the beat from a light backing track to a heavy funk stomp. Classixx's version of album closer "Green Eyed Love" is far more radical. For a start, the instrumentation is almost completely electronic. There are lovely synth lines and apreggios drenched all over it. The bassline is thick and the drums have a nice analogue warmth to them. The extra reverb on the vocals just enhances the dreaminess of it all. Clearly I need to do my homework on this Classixx fellow.

Just Ain't Gonna Work Out (Astronote's El Camino Remix).mp3
Green Eyed Love (Classixx Remix).mp3

Stream "A Strange Arrangement" on Spotify
Mayer Hawthorne at Stones Throw

06 October 2009


I mentioned Gatekeeper last year when they had four amazing industrial-electro-horror-disco tracks circulating the internet. They now have their first vinyl release due on Fright Records - a new label set up by Kompakt's Michael Mayer and Jon Berry. The four track EP entitled Optimus Maximus will be available on limited edition granite coloured vinyl from October 26th (and also digitally). There's a video for the title track, created by Tommy Boy (who was also involved in the amazing cover art). Watch the video below and check the Fright Records myspace page for more previews and info.

05 October 2009

I-F Mixtape 1986

There's a great old mix by I-F (CBS / Intergalactic FM) on the Valerie blog at the moment. Never heard any of the tracks before but they're pretty much all awesome; from Italo to Electro Rap to Euro-Dance. Mixing is spot on too. My personal favourite:

I-F - Disco Mix from Tape 1986

04 October 2009

Casiopea - Make Up City

I've been meaning to post this for ages; some 1980 style Japanese Jazz-Fusion from Casiopea that I picked up in San Francisco last summer. First sample track is the straight-up groover, second one has more of a 'shuffle' vibe to it. Nice synths and a healthy portion of noodles throughout the album.

Casiopea - Eyes of Mind.mp3

Casiopea - Make Up City.mp3

Casiopea - Make Up City LP

24 August 2009

Baxter - Proof EP

Willy Baxter first caught my attention back in 2006 when I stumbled across him via Kelley Polar's myspace page. I really liked his music and I blogged a couple of his tracks over on 24:Hours, which lead to the Irish label seedyBurnR putting out his debut release, the excellent Aiming High back in 2007. He finally has another release out, the Proof EP under the alias "Baxter" on OMG! Records. It features 3 quality vocal tracks in a synth-pop/nu-disco style and a dreamy downtempo bonus. There is also a remix EP featuring alternate versions from Lifelike, Spirit Catcher and Idiotproof. Both releases are currently Beatport exclusives but they will be available at other net stores soon. Keep an eye out for his full album and a remix for the brilliant Tesla Boy, both coming soon on Mullet Records.

Baxter - Proof EP (OMG! Records)
Buy it at Beatport
Stream it on Myspace

23 August 2009

Johan Agebjörn FACT Mix 76

Sally Shapiro producer Johan has put together one of the best mixes I've heard for a long time for FACT Magazine. It's an excellent example of the quality and variety of tunes from the 'nu-disco' genre. Mid-tempo pacing, plenty of lovely melodies, an appreciation of song based structure and smooth, no frills mixing.


Friday Bridge: This Case Is Closed (Johan Agebjörn Remix)
40 Thieves feat Qzen: Don't Turn It Off (Brennan Green Remix)
Sally Shapiro: Miracle (Bogdan Irkük Remix)
Friendly Fires feat. Au Revoir Simone: Paris (Aeroplane Remix)
Dølle Jølle: Balearic Incarnation (Todd Terje Remix)
Bogdan Irkük: When I Dream Of New York
Fox the Fox: Precious Little Diamond (12" Version)
Glass Candy: I Always Say Yes (12" Main)
Datassette: Weather Conditions

Grab it while you can, the link expires in three weeks.

17 August 2009

Groovin' You Too

I suppose I should draw your attention to this new mini blog I have set up. There is a permanent link at the top of the sidebar on the left. I don't always find the time to write full posts/reviews here so the new blog is something I hope to update more regularly, albeit with less information. So if I hear a random good track somewhere I'll be posting a link to it there. I'll still be writing more in depth posts here too. You can follow the Groovin' You Too blog if you're a Tumblr member or you can add the URL to your RSS feed. You can also follow me on Twitter for updates and other music related talk. The all important links are below:

Groovin' You Too
Twitter Profile

11 August 2009

Silkie - City Limits Vol.1

I dabble in Dubstep now and then, and there are some really fresh sounds out there if you look beyond the raft of ear bleeding basslines and synths out there. Silkie can certainly be placed in the 'artistic' group of steppers on the strength of his new LP "City Limits Vol.1" recently released on Deep Medi Musik. My only complaint is that it's a little long at 13 tracks and 75 minutes but it does contain a wide variety of sounds, styles and influences over the heavy basslines. These four tracks perfectly highlight the albums quality and variety (though of course, youtube never does Dubstep any favours).

15 July 2009

Alan Wilkis - Pink and Purple

This new release from Brooklyn-based producer/multi-instrumentalist Alan Wilkis was one of the last promos I downloaded before being cut off from the world internet for a month after a recent house move. A crazy mixture of styles and genres (check out his influences at Owl & Bear) that somehow manage to come together to form a cohesive whole.

Starting out with the disco funk of Snuggle Up To Nail Down which is packed with catchy and infectious vocodered vocals and synth melodies layered over a bubbling bassline, lo-fi shuffling drum machines and more meaty percussion. There's even a top notch guitar solo in there; consider my interest piqued. The funk continues on N.I.C.E., this time leaning more towards the P-Funk era. The beat is thick and the bassline thicker, complimented with tight guitar licks, synth hooks and horn stabs.

Alan Wilkis - N.I.C.E.

Gotta Get You Back retains the heavy beat and bass combo but moves in a poppier direction. It reminds me of Jordan Knight's Give It To You (this is a good thing) both tracks using similar staccato rhythm patterns. Title track Pink and Purple is another catchy little pop number until 2m30s in, when we're treated to a small breakdown followed by a grin inducing synth and guitar solo climax. Dance With You manages to squeeze Gameboy sounding blips, synth-pop influences, driving rock and roll drums and guitars, a brief smattering of techno beats and the usual array of vocal and melodic hooks all into a jolly little 3 minute pop song.

Alan Wilkis - Dance With You

Closing track Time Machine is the epic 'serious' contribution to the EP. It hasn't clicked with me like the upbeat stuff but I do like the synths and I'm a sucker for those cheap sounding bossa-nova beatbox rhythms. Overall then, an impressive and varied release, so much so that it was tough to decide which tracks to post. Listen to the whole release on his Myspace page and buy the EP either direct from the artist or from itunes using the links below.

Alan Wilkis myspace
Alan Wilkis store
Alan Wilkis on itunes

15 June 2009


Desire is the new project from Johnny Jewel of Glass Candy and Chromatics fame. They opened the show for Glass Candy and Lindstrom at the Italians Do It Better party at London's KOKO last Thursday and turned out to be the highlight of the show for me. Singer Megan Louise has a great voice, slightly reminiscent of Billie Ray Martin - she also played a bit of synth. Johnny Jewel was hunched over an array of electronic noise boxes and there was a live drummer. The backing track (and demo cd) contained more live instrumentation such as piano, saxophone and strings. The style is more melodic than Glass Candy and with an emphasis on 'song' as opposed to 'bass', although there are still a couple of nice upbeat numbers for the dancefloor, especially during the live show.

Some news from Mike Simonetti's blog: "the desire lp is done being mastered, and on it's way to the pressing plant. we should have these in the store in a little over a month." That was already 2 weeks ago so I'm not sure if the cd I bought at the show is the full album or another demo. What I do know is that it's great - I've listened to it at least once a day since the gig. For now though, show them some love at a live show or on myspace and enjoy this track from the cd.

Desire - Don't Call.mp3

Desire on Myspace

23 May 2009

Nite Jewel

I can't stop listening to this song. And when I'm not listening to it, I'm singing it in my head. A beautiful, amazing record. I found it on the new Milky Disco 2 compilation from Lo Records (not as good as the original or the digital only Milky Disco 1.5). It also came out as a 12" on Italians Do It Better. Taken from the Good Evening LP, which is just as great from start to finish. Buy it direct from the artist for maximum satisfaction.

Nite Jewel Myspace | Nite Jewel Website

18 May 2009

Colin McNeil - Cantina

A lost gem from my vinyl collection, the b-side to the Monsters of the Deep 12" on Ritual Recordings. A lot of Techno/Tech-House from this period (2001) hasn't aged well but I think this still has some interesting sounds, a healthy amount of funk and a slightly Detroit influenced groove to it. Can't tell you much about Colin McNeil I'm afraid, though all of the releases on Ritual Recordings were from him. So just sit back and enjoy the music with this one, pitched down slightly for your listening pleasure!

Colin McNeil - Cantina.mp3

12 May 2009

Karin Klark - In The Night

Love the SNES sounding synth hook and the guitar solo in the third minute of Karin Klark's "In The Night". Sourced from the new Flemming Dalum mix entitled "Italo Magic". It's full of obscure tracks and as ever, it's mixed and sequenced flawlessly. Get the mix, full tracklist and some cool cover scans from a selection of the records he used over at the Robots for Robots forums here.

27 April 2009

Deep House Mix 27-04-2009

Here's a little something I put together this afternoon.
Selected and mixed LIVE using Vinyl and Serato.

acidbearboy - Deep House Mix 27-04-2009


Bogdan Irkuk aka Bulgari - Everything is Changing
Trentemoller - Le Champagne
Dolle Jolle - Balearic Incarnation (Todd Terje Extra Doll Mix)
Circlesquare - Dancers (Russ Chimes vs. Anoraak Remix)
Grace Jones - Williams' Blood (Yam Who? Electric Dub)
Metro Area - Orange Alert
Andy Stott - Talk Touch
Nick Holder - Paradise '98
Model 500 - Starlight
Ame - Engoli
Brendan Moeller - Dynamo
Quantec - Circular

I realised I didn't post my last mix here, no idea why, but it's also available to download from Soundcloud so grab it if you haven't already. Lot's of synth, some chunky but funky house and a rather French influence.

acidbearboy - mélodie superbe de synth mix 27-01-2009


Sebastian Tellier - Kilometer (Aeroplane's Italo '84 Remix)
Bottin - No Static (Main Mix)
Shirley Lites - Heat You Up [Melt You Down] (Gerd 4lux Edit)
Metro Area - Erodyne
Bogdan Irkuk AKA BULGARI - When I Dream Of New York
Kish Mauve - Loose Control (Fred Falke Remix)
Anoraak - Night Drive With You
C-Mos - Calling All Cars
College feat. Anoraak - Fantasy Park (Moulinex Remix)
SymbolOne - Love Juice (Danger TV Remix)
Fear of Tigers - Study Hard Drugs School
Together - Together
Fred Falke - Love Theme
Cut Copy - So Haunted (Knitelife's Sun-Soaked Reprise)
Sneak Thief - My Sullen Mistress
Professor Genius - Down There
Octogen - Influential Perfection
Entertainment - U 1988 (Kruton Remix)
Discodeine - Joystick
Amplified Orchestra - Zweap
The Beat Broker - Cactus Cooler
Michael Mayer & Reinhard Voigt - Transparenza
Blackbelt Andersen - November
Defender - Bliss

18 April 2009

Martyn - Great Lengths

The new long player from Martyn entitled Great Lengths is out now on his own 3024 label. His stuff isn't something you can easily lump into a specific genre. It sounds new and interesting, and most importantly original. It has some great artwork too from co-label owner Erosie. The album is a mixed bag of influences, combined to create something fresh. There are Detroit-esque chords all over it. The production is top notch and the bass is huge throughout. It starts out a little dark, with the heavy rhythms of The Only Choice, Krdl-T-Grv and Right?Star! - the latter two both having an old Rave/Jungle feel to them. Seventy Four is a slow, throbbing 4/4 track with a deep techno groove which eventually builds to some lovely synth pads. Little Things lightens the mood with it's light rhythms and bobbling melody lines. Vancouver is killer - a perfect mixture of Dubstep and Dub-Techno.

The albums first vocal track These Words is next, I'm still not sure but it's growing on me. Bridge is a short piano interlude which is really quite lovely. Elden St. is basically deep House and real beautiful stuff. Had to upload this one, album hight for me at the moment - Elden St.mp3. Far Away is alright, nothing special. Hear Me has a deep organ bassline and is an update of the classic 2-Step Garage sound. Is This Insanity features rhymes from Spaceape. It's a heavy beat but probably the album low point. Brilliant Orange is some Derrick May style synth's only shit. It should close the album really but the final track is the previous single Natural Selection. Still sounds amazing, with a vibe not dissimilar to The Other People Place, so a great addition to those who don't already have it. There is also a hidden bonus track which is annoyingly familiar sounding but I've no idea what it is.

I can't find the full album online to stream. These links are the best I could do:

Stream Natural Selection and Vancouver on Boomkat
Stream Right?Star! at Dusted
Album sampler on Youtube with clips of all the tracks
There are some more sample tracks on Myspace

17 April 2009

Parallels - Ultralight EP

Parallels, the Canadian duo of Cameron Findlay and Holly Dodson have a forthcoming EP on Thisisnotanexit Records next month. I've been listening to the promo over the last couple of weeks and it's been growing on me each time, to the point where I actually love it now. From the press release: "Cameron thrives on early eighties music – most of which could be categorised as ‘new wave’ and ‘disco.’ Whilst Holly approaches from pop music that appropriates those same electronic influences into classic pop structures, a la ABBA et al." I have described it as Italo-Pop.

Lead track Ultralight is a driving electronic track with a strong vocal performance and classic Italo arpeggio's and synth layers. Midnight Voices has a more disco feel to it, even though it has a similar bassline to Ultralight. Think Glass Candy meets Alden Tyrell and your halfway there. Final track Dry Blood is the dark dancefloor destroyer. The vocals are low in the mix and have been distorted with some heavy vocoder action. Three great tracks, available on limited edition 12” (500 copies only) from 11th May 2009 on Thisisnotanexit Records. The debut album will be released in late 2009.

Parallels - Ultralight

10 April 2009

Mark Du Mosch

Syncom Data Records sent me the promo for the Overlord EP from Rotterdam's Mark Du Mosch, due later this month. Mark's previously released material for the Keynote and Moustache labels, but this is the first I've heard of him but it's a solid, varied EP of melodic electro/techno. Title track Overlord starts things off with a heavy thump and a menacing bassline. Genisis smooths things out with some deep bass, light percussion and warm melodic elements. Next up is the aptly titled Summer Breeze; here we get a rolling bassline, gorgeous chord patterns and a real uplifting vibe. In The Clouds continues the melodious vibe, opening with 2 minutes of ambience before a bassline and eventually a beat come in. It's a shame it takes so long to build as the last couple of minutes of the track have a really nice lazy house groove. Digital buyers get the ambient First Flight as a bonus track. Promo edits below, check out the full version of Summer Breeze, along with his previous work on his Myspace page.

Mark Du Mosch - Summer Breeze

Mark Du Mosch - In The Clouds

25 March 2009


Lovelock is an alias of Steve Moore from synth-rock duo Zombi. There isn't much material out there at the moment, but what's there is very good. The first (and currently only) official release was the smooth disco groove of Don't Turn Away (From My Love), which closed last years Cosmic Balearic Beats Vol.1 compilation on Eskimo records. I found a couple of other tracks floating around the net this week that really caught my attention, somehow I managed to miss the hype last summer!

Featured on the current Mixmag cover cd from Aeroplane, Burning Feeling has a slow but solid chugging metallic beat with a number of melodious synth elements layered on top. The male vocal is pretty decent and everything builds nicely to the BIG sounding chorus. Love Reaction ups the tempo, this time with a female vocal over a driving beat, high energy bassline and guitar power chords, with twinkling synths sprinkled in at all the right moments. Midway through the track is an awesome guitar/synth solo. The only complaint about either of these tracks is that they both fade out (and that they are still unavailable).

Download the tracks from Electrorash
Lovelock on Myspace

19 March 2009

Space Art

I've featured Space Art here before as part of my Psyche-Out! series of posts. They were a French duo formed in 1977 and their music is very French sounding. On keyboards was Dominique Perrier and on drums was Roger Rizzitelli. I was lucky to find all 3 of their albums on my travels in North America last summer. I wasn't previously aware of the group but picked them out due to the cover art, the band name and track titles; I wasn't disappointed. This post is to celebrate the fact that I've finally got around to transferring all three LP's to mp3! Apparently these were not released outside of France but obtaining a copy of the first two LP's online certainly won't be difficult, nor will it break the bank (they were also released more recently on cd). A copy of the vinyl only Play Back on the other hand turns out to be rather rare and expensive. Possibly my favourite of the three though.

Their self titled debut album was released in 1977 by I-F Records, with distribution by Carrere. Certain melody lines and phrases are re-used throughout the album, giving it some continuity. Onyx opens the album with beautiful, ethereal synth melodies and smooth live drumming. There were a lot of experiments with the synthesizer and electronic music during the late 70s but the drums here really stand Space Art apart from the rest of the crowd. I find this album to be a little darker and more intense than the others. Axius is a good example of this with its growling bassline and nagging, alarm like one-note synth lines. Ode A Clavius is another highlight. It starts out light and dreamy, almost classical, before dropping into a funky syncopated hook. There are also a bunch of alien noises which sound like they were lifted straight out of some weird 70s cartoon or videogame.

Space Art - Onyx

Space Art - Ode A Clavius

Not sure if this is from 1977 or 1979, no dates on the LP itself, but Trip In The Center Head (or Head Center as some pressing state) continues where the previous album left off, opening with two short upbeat melodic pieces: Speedway and Odyssey. Things turn darker with the slow burner Eyes Shade. Opening with a rush of white noise, followed by a lonely synth with some muffled telephone chatter in the background. The track closes with a slow beat and some electric guitar noodling. L'obsession d'Archibald is one of my favourite Space Art tracks. It opens with a pulsing synth note which is joined with an arpeggio and lead melody line. Then out of nowhere this killer bridge section drops in at 2:17 - smooth as silk. I think its greatness is enhanced by the fact that it's gone within a minute, never to return. Epic closing track Psychosomatique is another moody slow burner, though it's a little unspectacular.

Space Art - Speedway

Space Art - L'obsession d'Archibald

Released in 1980 by Waves/Carrere, the third and final LP called Play Back opens with the lush chords, floating synths and rolling drums of Folkstone Hovercraft. A truly beautiful piece of music that I posted here previously. This album had more players on it and a wider variety of instruments accompanying the synths/drums combo of old. This led to a more varied selection of styles within the tracks and also some vocals for the first time. Paris Vision, whilst not having lyrics, makes good use of a vocoder for its scat style vocals. Love Machine is pure pop with a full on vocoder vocal and guitar power chords. Very cheesey and kitch, and not my favourite to be honest. Alpha du Centaure is nice, coming in three parts, but I don't see the theme running between them myself as each is quite different. Closing track Welcome to Love is another thing of wonder and amazement. More vocoder vocals, more beautiful chord sequences and synthesizer sounds, all accompanied by a brilliant shuffling drumbeat and complementary bassline. The seemingly never ending solo in the last 2+ minutes does eventually fade out unfortunately, but its still one of my favourite tracks.

Space Art - Paris Vision

Space Art - Welcome To Love

13 March 2009

Yars' Revenge

The constant throb of dirty static bass.
The slight raise in pitch when entering the safety of the neutral zone.
The frantic nibbling of the wall around the Quotile.
The panic inducing siren of an incoming Swirl.
The satifying sound of a successful hit with your Zorlon Cannon.

Not many games from 1981 hold up well today, especially in the audio departmart. But Yars' Revenge for the Atari 2600 was brilliant back when I was a kid and it still is today. Grab an emulator and a rom and see for yourself. Try the self titled debut LP from Zombi or the 2003 Demo LP from Steve Moore for musical accompaniment.

12 March 2009

Tesla Boy and others

Too much good music going around at the moment and I don't always have mp3's to share and the time to write about each artist so here is a little round-up of what's hot with some links elsewhere for music.

Tesla Boy are all kinds of awesome. I've listened to their EP on repeat since finding them yesterday. Retro melodic synth-pop with a modern twist - think Anoraak, Sally Shapiro etc. If anybody can help me obtain the EP on cd, please get in touch.

Stream the full EP on last.fm.
Download mp3's from Valerie, Death Electro and Discodust.
Show them love and support on Myspace.

Chicago's Gatekeeper (didn't) release one of my favourite EP's last year with their 4 tracks of horror soundtrack inspired Electro/Techno/Industrial tunes. Two more tracks, Optimus Maximus and Slow Walk, have been added recently and the duo show no signs of letting up.

Stream all six great tracks on their Myspace
Download mp3's via The Hype Machine.

I Am The Cosmos have some dreamy melodic synth stuff on their page. At times it's reminiscent of some of the instrumental tracks on Italians Do It Better, only more intense. It's all deep and slow and trippy, and most importantly good.

Stream 3 tracks on Myspace.
Download The Final Form from 20 Jazz Funk Greats.

This is kinda cheating but Valerie have been on a roll lately. The blog is full of great 80s inspired synth-pop and synth heavy melodic house. My faves:

College feat. Anoraak - Fantasy Park (Moulinex Remix)
Fare Soldi - Survivor (Keenhouse Remix)
Cecile (both tracks are tops)
Fear of Tigers (again, both tunes are great)
Sally Shapiro - Anoraak Remix
Edwin Van Cleef - I Want You

11 March 2009

New Musik - Warp

If you were lucky enough to get a copy of the excellent Cut Copy promo mix So Cosmic then you'll know the track Warp by synth-pop pioneers New Musik. It was one of the stand out tracks in the mix and I didn't hesitate to pick up a copy of the LP when I found it in Vancouver last year. I was all set to record just the title track from the vinyl, as on a previous listen I wasn't keen on the rest of the album. But after a few more listens, it's really grown on me. Released in 1982, Warp was the group's third and final album. It was written and produced by Tony Mansfield, who also produced work for Captain Sensible, a-ha, The B-52's and After The Fire. It definitely sounds like it's from the 80's but in a good way. There are some very cheap sounding drum machines used (including a Roland TR-606 I believe), plenty of synths and a bunch of what would then have been 'new' studio effects.

Side A opens with Here Come The People, which has a nice laid back groove to it with a stuttering electronic beat, clean and tidy guitar chords and some plinky plonky piano. A Train On Twisted Tracks has a similar tempo but is more synthetic, using thick layers of synth pads over a robotic bassline; lovely stuff. Two tracks on side one share the same title - the familiar looking All You Need Is Love. Version one is their own composition; a fairly traditional sounding pop song (in comparison to the rest of the album). At the end of the 4 minutes there is an ambient interlude, after which the second version begins. It's a cover of The Beatles' classic. The swing of the original is lost and replaced with a driving 16th note bassline. The second half of the track is totally different, introducing new melodies and a great piano solo to fade - one of the best moments on the album.

Over to Side 2 and Hunting repeats a short piano loop over a thick synth bassline and 4/4 beat. The lyrics don't really make much sense but I love the feel of the track. Green And Red (Respectively) is the weirdest track on the LP, starting with the word "GREEN" and ending abruptly with the word "RED". Inbetween are 3 minutes of frantic 4/4 beats, heavily processed piano, wonky sounding synths, metallic percussion and a bunch of studio effects. The Planet Doesn't Mind has a nice ambient introduction before turning into a slightly cheesy synth funk/pop hybrid. Warp itself has a proto deep house kinda vibe to it. I love the rolling bassline and the ethereal synth pads low in the mix. The vocals are also well delivered, although the "WARP" shouts sound a little dated. Things go crazy at the end of the track, with all sorts of trickery trying to fool you into thinking your LP or cassette has warped and broke.

New Musik - Hunting

New Musik - Warp

The album was re-issued on CD in Japan in 2001. Clips of each track can be heard on last.fm. There is a great website full of info on the band here.

26 February 2009

Herbie Hancock & Quincy Jones 1983

Synthesis. Geekiness. Funkiness. Genius.

25 February 2009

Stinkworx - Coelacanth

Nope, I'm not sure how you pronounce it either. Wikipedia tells me it's some kind of fish but whatever, I'm here to tell you about the Stinkworx track of the same name. Released as a 12" on Legowelt's Strange Life Records late last year, the original is a thick synth funk track. The chord progressions are lovely, the bassline even better. Proper techno-soul style business. On remix duties are Syncom Data, who strip it down and make it a little darker and more menacing without losing the rolling groove of the original. Amira on the flip is some deep as fuck melodic dub-techno. Highly recommended release.

Stream in full on Boomkat

19 February 2009

Zombi - Spirit Animal

A plethora of new material is out there from Zombi at the moment. Firstly, and most importantly, is the new long player entitled Spirit Animal. It's an immense piece of work, much more organic than previous albums, and all the more interesting for it. The album opens with the epic prog-rock of the title track, complete with wanky guitar lead and synth counterparts. It breaks down for long enough to grow an extra inch on your beard; with accoustic guitars, a detuned piano and some strings drifting in and out of the mix before eventually the track evolves into one huge euphoric hook as powerful as the elephant in the album art. Spirit Warrior treads a more familiar territory with its arpeggiated bassline, shuffling 3/4 drum patterns and choral synths. Again, it breaks down and mellows out before building to a climax in the final third.

Earthly Powers is fat, the thick bassline groove at times sounding like a lazy Rage Against The Machine lick. It's on this track that the addition of guitars to the Zombi sound is most apparent, with both fuzzy power chords and swirling lead lines used to great effect. Not that the thick layers of synth pads and arpeggios are forgotten of course, particularly in the dreamy bridge section. Cosmic Powers uses another odd time signature to vary the relentless synth riff and heavy drums routine. Not a lot happens but as the shortest track on the album it doesn't outstay its welcome, fading out to leave the drums high in the mix. Fith and final track Through Time is a 17 minute monster that rarely lets up. A dirty great distorted bassline runs throughout the track and the drums take a real pounding. Credited as the only Paterra composition, it's clear he is the more rhythmic minded of the group. Layer upon layer of synth is added upon the chugging bass which eventually fades, leaving just ambient noises to close the album.

Stream the whole album on last.fm

Also available is a split EP with Masarati (not a name I'm familiar with but one I shall be looking into) on Brooklyn's Temporary Residence label. Masarati supply 2 two-part tracks on the A side, both with a good shuffling dancefloor friendly instrumental space-rock kinda vibe. Zombi on the B side deliver another epic called Infinity. Starting out slowly with drones that wouldn't sound out of place in an old 80s horror movie, the track begins to evolve after a couple of minutes with the introduction of some eerie chords. An arpeggio begins to bubble and Paterra treats us to a 4 minute drum solo before eventually letting rip with a driving beat. From here the bassline expands and layers of synths are continuely added until the track unfairly fades out before I want it to end. Listen on myspace:


Finally, there's is the Sapphire 12" to mention. This was the track that originally got me into Zombi, from the Digitalis EP released a few years back now. It's been re-issued by another US label Throne of Blood with an unnecessary remix by Escort and a new track The Long, Mirrored Corridor. Like Sapphire, it smells like the work of Steve Moore, all dark Italo loops and 100% electronics. It's essential listening though if you dig Zombi for the synths and not just the rock. Stream all 3 tracks on Boomkat, where the release is also available digitally.


06 February 2009

The Amen Break

This video had been sat in my bookmarks folder for some weeks but today I finally got round to watching it. Very interesting it was too. Recommended viewing.

"Nate Harrison's 2004 video is a meditation on the ownership of culture, the nature of art and creativity, and the history of a remarkable music clip."

30 January 2009

Jean-Pierre Bourtayre

I love the way the internet can link you from one place to another, and then another and you end up somewhere unexpected and yet fantastic in mere minutes. Today's find is this beautiful soundtrack by Jean-Pierre Bourtayre to the 1982 French animated movie Les Maîtres du temps (aka Time Masters). The film was directed by René Laloux with designs by Moebius. Jean-Pierre was one half of Universal Energy, whose track Disco Energy is a classic slice of cosmic disco. Now to find the movie on DVD.....

29 January 2009

Amnesie - Turas

My new favourite tune, found on the recent mix that Bottin did for 24:Hours to promote his excellent new single No Static on Italians Do It Better records. This one and only release from Amnesie is classic era Italo-Disco with a great vocal by Dora Carofiglio (Valerie Dore, Novecento, Answering Service etc.). The groove is driven by some lovely piano chords and a funky slapped bassline. The little electronic tom-tom hits in the breakdown really make it for me. A perfect example of that happy, well produced sound that Italo did so well.